NCAA postpones Season 96 opening to June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) – This year’s staging of the country’s oldest collegiate sports league has hit a snag once again.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Thursday announced it is pushing back its opening day to June instead of the first week of May due to the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus bubble.

NCAA management committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo told CNN Philippines the ECQ has greatly affected the mobility of the league’s workforce resulting in the lack and unavailability of its employees and officials.

Just last month, the league bared its plans to hold its 96th season in a special format through virtual events including online chess and poomsae, the artistic form of taekwondo.

The NCAA has also considered staging an online skills-based competition in lieu of the mandatory basketball and volleyball games, such as a slam dunk contest, a three-point shootout, and a skills and drills challenge, among others.

But while the region remains under the strictest form of lockdown, the league says it is choosing to prioritize the health and safety of its athletes and workforce.

Calvo previously announced the NCAA plans to vaccinate its student-athletes and officials amid talks with Unilab, the authorized distributor of the Covovax vaccine in the country.